It’s that time of year again. Twinkling white lights line the doorways, gifts are being wrapped in a hurry, and the fresh smell of pine fills the air. And of course, the holiday season wouldn’t be the same without one thing: a Christmas tree.
But as Americans are becoming more environmentally conscious, people are having a hard time choosing between buying a fake tree or cutting down a real one. And while many consumers think they’re “going green” by getting this year’s tree at a big box retailer, they might want to think again. According to National Geographic, your plastic tree isn’t all that environmentally friendly after all. In fact, it's a real strain on Mother Earth.
Rick Dungey, executive director of the National Christmas Tree Association, sets the record straight: "An artificial tree is never going to decompose. It’s always going to end up in a landfill. It’s always going to be an environmental burden."
Think about it: your newly purchased tree isn’t manufactured in your backyard. In fact, most are typically shipped all the way from China… a long trip that results in a ton of greenhouse gas emissions. Some might argue that a fake tree is better because it lasts longer. But most people reuse theirs only 4 or 5 years in a row, until it goes to the dump where it sits for centuries on end. On the other hand, your pine-needled tree will biodegrade—helping to prevent erosion and building up shorelines in the process.
So, instead of putting up a fake tree this year (one that is packaged in a cardboard box, remember), keep it real and help reduce your carbon footprint. We don’t need to make drastic changes to help improve the environment, which is the exact concept behind Ecovention, LLC’s GreenBox: a product that re-invents the typical pizza box. Just 50 million of these in circulation would save 280,250 trees, 1,041 acres of land, 85,750,000 gallons of water, and 50,225,000 kilowatts of energy. That's a pretty big deal.
Remember: it’s our planet, and our responsibility.